Atlanta Falcons: NFC Power Rankings, Week 17

5 of 5

This is the most enjoyable Washington Redskins team I’ve watched in years. They weren’t the least dysfunctional team in the NFC East this season, this team was actually very good. The trick was two-fold: would Kirk Cousins stand up and become a leader at quarterback and would the defense rise to the occasion when the team needed it to.

In 2015, Washington proved that it has a talented football team and don’t think for a second that they can’t win at home in the Wild Card round as the No. 4 seed in the NFC. Washington is 6-2 at home and is riding a three-game winning streak. I don’t think Green Bay, Minnesota, or Seattle want any part of the Redskins in two weeks.

3. team. 60. . . Previous: . Minnesota Vikings

As Green Bay falls, Minnesota rises. The Vikings absolutely crushed the disinterested New York Giants on Sunday Night Football. This defense is a sneaky good one and the strong running game of Adrian Peterson will do well in the NFC Playoffs.

I have concerns about Teddy Bridgewater in the postseason, but if offensive coordinator Norv Turner calls a conservative game for Bridgewater, I could see the Vikings winning in the Wild Card round and putting up a fight in the Divisional round against either Carolina or Arizona.

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Arizona Cardinals. 2. team. 32. . . Previous:

Even after losing defensive back Tyrann Mathieu for the season, there isn’t a more dominant team in the NFL than the 13-2 Arizona Cardinals. Teams don’t blowout Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers at home unless they are an elite football team. Arizona is that and anything less than an NFC Championship Game berth is a letdown for this team.

As we enter the final week of the 2015 regular season, the Arizona Cardinals are my pick to win the Super Bowl. They are an unproven bunch in the playoffs, but outside of the AFC’s Cincinnati Bengals, there isn’t a more complete football team in 2015. I think they’ll end up meeting in Santa Clara at the end of the day.

Previous: . Carolina Panthers. 1. team. 87. .

So the 1972 Miami Dolphins can crack the champagne as they remain the only undefeated team in NFL history. The Carolina Panthers lost on the road to the Atlanta Falcons in Week 16 to fall to 14-1. Carolina should beat Tampa Bay to lock up home field advantage in Week 17. However, the Atlanta Falcons may have exploited some weaknesses in the Panthers on Sunday.

Next: Atlanta Falcons upset Carolina Panthers, 20-13

Halting the running game and disrupt Cam Newton in the pocket is the best way to throw the Panthers off their offensive rhythm. Limiting turnovers on offense gives a team a chance to keep it close with Carolina down the stretch. The road to the Super Bowl runs through Charlotte, but Carolina is now beatable.